March for Ike!

two and a half pounds
tiniest toes in the world
now they kick my face

If you live in Austin, or near Austin, or feel like a road trip to Austin, I am setting up a team to march for Ike in the
May 8th March of Dimes March for Babies. It's a 3.2 mile walk to raise
money for the March of Dimes. As I know you all know by now, Isaac
wouldn't be with us today if it wasn't for technology developed and
researched by the March of Dimes. They save tiny little babies like Ike

Please, please don't feel like you have to donate money to be
involved. I know money is tight. Boy do I know it. If you just want to
come walk with us, that would be AWESOME. You guys have done so much
for me and my family and Isaac. I think plopping him in his stroller
and walking with his posse would be amazing. Like almost unthinkable

Here's the link for the Ike-a-saurus team.

You can just email me, too, if you're interested. My email is over in the sidebar over there.

Come on!
Saturday, May 8th!
8:30 am!
March for Ike and all the little babies like him!

From this….

To this…

Thanks to the March of Dimes – and to you.

The ONE day I go out

expecting phone call
but from a day earlier
am lost in space-time?

Yesterday I was supposed to get a call from the Fancy Surgeon's nurse practitioner from up in Cincinnati. She was going to call for a weight and respiratory status update so that we can move forward with possibly scheduling a trip up there this summer.

Of course the call never came.

I wasn't surprised, because the call NEVER comes. I always have to chase it down and make a nuisance of myself. And then when I finally get a return call several weeks later, it's always in the evening. This has been the pattern for nearly a year now.

Except that the call came today. I didn't have to chase it down. It came in at 9:30 this morning. WHILE I WAS OUT OF THE HOUSE.


I got a text from our nurse that someone from Cincy had just left a message. I was out at a coffee shop, ostensibly writing with a friend. Mostly I was bemoaning the fact that I have to write a synopsis for my work-in-progress, and waxing poetic about the awesomeness of snack cakes. In other words: I was out of the house – without children – and having (partially productive) fun.

So I get the text and I'm all, "SHIT!" Then I ruminate on how this is why people pay for voicemail or learn how to remote-access their answering machine. I also ruminate on how much it would cost to just forward all the house phone calls to my mobile phone while I'm out. When I'm done wasting time, I frantically try to call Cincy back, knowing this is a lost cause. I leave a message with a nurse, repeating my mobile number about 65 times, and begging her to make sure our nurse uses that number to call me back. Our nurse is out on rounds and I'm all SHIT again, because rounds = lost forever in the bowels of the hospital never to call back ever again.

Except she DID call back.

We were able to chat – me sweating and blotchy, pacing in front of the coffeshop in gale force winds – she calm and slightly rushed. I told her how he's gaining weight and seems to be doing well, she said the fancy surgeon is unlikely to commit to the surgery without a few days of tests and procedures first. This is not news to us – and in fact I'm shocked that there would be a remote enough chance to schedule the surgery WITHOUT the tests that she would bring up the non-possibility. Does that make sense? Ha.

Anyway, the gist of the conversation is that fingers, toes, ears, stomachs and eyeballs are crossed that we will be a go for evaluation and possibly, possibly the reconstructive surgery in July. IF Ike-a-saurus continues to gain weight. IF his lungs are healthy. IF he doesn't get any major illnesses. IF a meteor doesn't hit the house. IF we survive the upcoming zombie apocalypse.

Lots of IFs there.

Now I wait to hear if the fancy surgeon has space in his schedule in July.


And my deep breaths commence in 3… 2… 1…

It’s 3 am and I’m hungry

a busy weekend
have escaped slightly unscathed
and with some flowers

Despite the fact that one kid ended up on oxygen and another kid ended up at urgent care with a potentially broken leg, the weekend was actually pretty nice. We planted flowers. The weather was beautiful. No ambulances made me cry. Netflix added season 5 of Weeds to the list of instant streaming shows. Good.

The one who was on oxygen is now sleeping without it, though I do think he's getting sick. It's too early to tell how sick, but hopefully this won't be a huge horrible thing.

The one who ended up at urgent care is sleeping soundly with an ace bandage on his knee, a bruise on his cheek, and a new respect for how fast you can really make your scooter go.

The one who helped with the flowers has snuck out of her bed and is sleeping in my bed.

I am not yet sleeping in my bed, but in an hour or so I will be.

There are a lot of things that are just inescapably fucked up about my life. But then, there are others that are not so bad, random Sunday night co-pays notwithstanding.

Tomorrow we are supposed to get a call from Cincinnati so that we can start the process of scheduling another trip up there. I fear our typical Sunday afternoons are going to get a little wonky in the future. But maybe after that, they'll be OK. Even better than OK – they'll be mundane. That's all a lady can wish for, isn't it? Sundays full of mundane mundanity? Maybe the call tomorrow will be the first step toward that goal.

Not tomorrow. Today. It's Monday already, isn't it?

It's 3 am. I'm really hungry.

Free wine! Free snacks! Talk about boobs!

Well, the talking about boobs part might be an oversell. But maybe not… you never know what hijinks will ensue down at the local milk bank.

Tomorrow night is the Grand Opening of the Mother's Milk Bank office here in Austin. They've moved to a fabulous new building and they're eager to show it off. Come on by from 5-7 tomorrow night for a glass of wine and a tour of the facilities. I am going to do my best to drop by. I might even wear fancy pants for the occasion. You can't beat a tour of milk processing facilities and fancy pants. I am completely serious about that.

Come by and say Hi!

The milk bank is on Medical Arts Street, Suite 12 (in Medical Arts Square). It's
right there at the corner of Dean Keeton and Medical Arts. Parking is
free and plentiful.

For more info about the milk bank, and the event, see my post from a few days ago

Yay milk bank! Yay parties! Yay fancy pants!

Just when I thought it was safe to go out…

blasted ambulance
wailing down the street, top speed
stops me in my tracks

For the first few months after Ike-a-saurus' trach-o-drama extravaganza last year I had a really hard time every time I saw an ambulance on the street. Especially the yellow and blue ones. I would have to pull the car over and hyperventilate and cry a little bit and then everything would be kind of OK (at least OK enough to resume driving). After a few months of that it got to where I could see an ambulance and be fine UNLESS it had its lights and siren on. Then – freak out. A few months after that, I was OK as long as someone else was in the car with me… all of this until the point where I could be in the car, see a wailing ambulance, and not lose my shit.

Time, acceptance, subsequent trips in ambulances – it seemed like all of these things combined to help calm me down.

Until today.

What makes today different? Beats me. Maybe it's all the health care talk, flashing me back to a dark time. Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it was a song on the radio. Maybe it was the actual, physical movement I had to take to take to pull the car over to let the ambulance go by. I don't know. But whatever it was set off a reaction that I haven't experienced in several months.

I think seeing all of the cars pull off to the side so that the ambulance could get through the traffic was the kicker. I immediately flashed back to being in the ambulance that first time with Ike. He was in the back and I had to sit in the front with the driver, watching the traffic scramble to get out of our way. Something about the cars pulling over today… well, it turned me into a big mess. That was at noon, and still, nearly 4 hours later I feel exhausted and shaky and cry-y.

Not really sure what the point of this post is, other than to say dammit, I thought all this mess was behind me.


My butt article!

In this month's Parents Magazine, read all about the seven stages of coming to terms with your new butt. Written by me, a looooong time ago.

Here it is! (In the actual magazine, the article is superimposed on a very attractive hiney.)

I would also like to say how hilarious it is to sign a contract with a national magazine that has the word BUTT on it in a big bold, all caps font.

Come celebrate the Mother’s Milk Bank next Thursday night!

human donor milk
liquid gold saves preemie lives
ev'ry single day

I know that by now you all know Ike has benefited tremendously from human donor milk. He's nearly 19 months old and we still get a weekly supply of milk for him from the Mother's Milk Bank here in Austin. I firmly believe that this milk has helped him in ways we can barely comprehend. I know that sounds dramatic, but I really think it's true. His immune system needs all the help it can get, and with the added issues of reflux and aspiration, breast milk has always been his best option.

When he was born at 28 weeks, the doctors in the NICU encouraged me to pump even though he was getting most of his nutrition initially from IVs. Fortunately, I was able to pump. I pumped and pumped and pumped and pumped. At that time, Ike got mere drops of my milk everyday, but it was enough to stave off horrible complications like the dreaded (and deadly) necrotizing entercolitis.

Some mothers are unable to pump like I did, though. The stress, the medications, the sheer earliness of their babies – there are lots of factors that prevent mothers from pumping when they have tiny, tiny preemies in the NICU. At these times, doctors prescribe human donor milk and the milk bank snaps into action. They deliver pasteurized breast milk to the hospital that is administered to the babies via tube feeds. Every day, this donated milk saves lives.

I ended up with so much milk that I donated over 200 ounces to the milk bank when Ike came home. Then suddenly, we were hit with the trach and the stress nearly dried up my milk. Even when I pumped every two hours for weeks on and and took milk-inducing supplements, I still couldn't produce enough milk for my seriously ill baby.

The milk bank stepped in, providing Ike enough milk to sustain him and help him grow. And now, as he transitions to high calorie, fortified prescription formula, we still mix it with donor milk so that we can get as many antibodies and immunities in him as we can.

I tell you all of this because next Thursday, March 25th, the Mother's Milk Bank here in Austin is having a Grand Opening Celebration. They've just moved to HUGE new offices and they (deservedly) want to show them off. You'll get wine and snacks, and babes in arms are welcome.

You'll get a tour of the facilities – they are SO EXCITED to be able to show off the (three!) pasteurization labs, the meeting rooms available to the public, the drive-thru for donor milk drop-off, and so much more.

Plus, if you drop by you can see the giant picture of Ike up on the wall. 🙂

So, please, if you're at all interested in how donating milk works, drop by the Milk Bank the evening of the 25th between 5 and 7. It's on Medical Arts Street, Suite 12 (in Medical Arts Square). It's right there at the corner of Dean Keeton and Medical Arts. Parking is free and plentiful.

Hooray for breast milk! Hooray for milk donors! And hooray for the Mother's Milk Bank!


Rodeo, blogging, trachiness, and other sundries

a poop free planet
what the wee one's searching for
after rodeo

My sister and I took the wee one and the wee-er one to the rodeo today. Not the actual rodeo where you watch cowboys launch themselves toward fleeing animals during things like "calf scrambles", but the extraneous rodeo, where you eat potato chips made by a man with a Black & Decker drill and a bunch of potatoes, and where you watch baby pigs named Sarah Jessica Porker and Brad Pigg race each other for a bite of an Oreo.

Great fun!


Exhausting, though. And I was sad we couldn't bring Ike-a-saurus. I guess, technically, we could have brought him and his nurse with us, but with all the dirt and sawdust and poop it just didn't seem like a great place to go if you have a hole in your neck leading directly to your lungs. Alas.

Speaking of trachs, Ike-a-saurus has learned to occlude his with not only his finger but his chin. So now he can rip off his HME, jam his chin over his trach and go OOOH AAAAH BBBUUUHHHH BBBAAAAHHHH until he turns red in the face and I holler at him to stop. Very entertaining.

Speaking of entertaining – not much of that going on around here on the blog. Sorry about that. I'm trying to finish writing a new book, and it's keeping me busy.

That's a lie.

What's keeping me busy is three kids and a trach and spring break and finishing the new book and blah blah. Also, I'm blogging on THREE other blogs now (crazy, I know), and tweeting here and there, so my time is stretched. I'm going to try to do better getting on here, but if there's a stretch of a couple of days, pop over to The Spectacle or The YA-5, or my K.A. Holt blog, or my twitter page (there's actually two: @haikumama, and @karianneholt – haikumama has the cursing, karianneholt has the book stuff).

I sound like a crazy person now, don't I? It's true. You got me.



Who tortures her kids with pony rides at the rodeo.

There once was a zombie from Austin…

There once was a zombie from Austin.

Whose voice had a small hint of Boston.

He raced a fine relay

Despite a shambl'ng gate

And excessive make-up on his noggin.

Yes, worst. limerick. ever. But it was a fun day, even though I am now overcome with a cold or allergies or some other insidious infection of the brain and face holes.

Today, the wee one and I went over to BookPeople, our most awesomest local bookstore, and we enjoyed a fine afternoon of Zombie relay races. The kiddo got his face painted up nice and scary-like, and then marched through the crowds recruiting his own relay team. Once assembled, the kids shambled their way through trivia questions, brain eating, brain smashing, clothes trading, three-legged race running and exhaustion.

Coming in second place (after a group of fantastically dressed Shaun-of-the-Dead types), the boys all won a book of zombie tattoos.

The afternoon was capped off with a purchase of book 4 in the Percy Jackson series, and after much zombie-begging, the do-it-yourself Diary of a Wimpy kid book.

I know the purchases didn't really match the day, did they? And that's a double shame because the zombie relays were in celebration of author Stacey Jay and her zombie YA books. Somehow I managed to get so completely distracted I neither bought her books, nor got them signed. DOH. It's a good thing I stalk BookPeople regularly and that they always have a nice stash of signed books handy.

Sorry, Stacey!

I blame this guy: